Athlete Spotlight: Rhonex KiprutoJanuary 17, 2019
19-year-old Rhonex Kipruto is one of the rising stars in athletics and is now on many people’s radars as Kenya’s next big household name. He imposed himself on last weekends Cross Internacional Juan Muguerza to take the win by 22 seconds over Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega, another upcoming talent in the sport. We had expected a close race between the two, but such was Kipruto’s confidence in his own ability, it turned out to be a comfortable victory as he made a solo break with 7km still to run. But just who is Rhonex Kipruto?
Rhonex Kipruto first announced himself on the global scene aged 17, when he finished third at the Prague 10K. His finishing time of 27:13 was a world U18 record and the 10th fastest time ever. Prior to this, he had very little attributed to his name other than a few races on the track back in his home country.
The following April, Kipruto lowered his 10K best once more by running 27:08 to win the Healthy Kidney 10K in New York. He continued the progress with his first track race outside of Kenya, competing at the World U20 Championships in Finland. There he took home Gold in the 10000m, winning the race in a championship record 27:21.08 and crossing the line almost 20 seconds ahead of Jacob Kiplimo in second. In September, he was back to setting the roads alight in the Prague 10K. He cruised to an almost record breaking time of 26:46, missing Leonard Komon’s World Best by just two seconds! Once again, he built-up a significant margin over the next best man, finishing 32 seconds before anyone else.
After the eye opening run in Prague during the autumn, Kipruto had a lot of pressure to perform in his first big cross country race of the winter last weekend. He did not disappoint. True to form, the young Kenyan attacked early on and there was nobody capable of going with the pace. As he crossed the line of the 10.6km cross country race with another significant margin, Kipruto suddenly became one of the names in contention for a medal should he contest the upcoming World Cross Country Championships in March. One thing is for sure, this man is not going to settle for his existing achievements and will only be looking to get quicker and quicker.